Beginning of the Brain

This week was a bit of a personal triumph for me. I learnt how to (very basically embroider) and transfer that skill onto photographs. I began by trying an outline of a uterus on cotton, and finished the week by presenting a 7 x 5″ photograph with an embroidered brain with a natural aesthetic of vines and flowers.


I am really happy with how this came out, especially for my first attempt. It was very much a tester, and in that regard it was a success. I have learnt that I think for the thread to look seamless, I think the image needs to be slightly larger, the black and white makes the thread pop and the technique I was using can be altered to a re-thread process to create a more even look.


After looking at the photograph, there were a few concerns that came to mind. First of all, I am little worried that if I go larger, meaning more embroider, I will crinkle or deform the image. Or maybe this is something I can incorporate?

Another element to consider, is how I will present the work. Last semester I mounted my photographs on MDF, where it was elevated off the wall. This was quite effective, it jumped out to the audience and the shadows made it really pop. So I would like to continue with this concept, but perhaps with glass or a a freestanding unit where you can see both sides.

What now? 

With two weeks left of the semester, I want to use this time to understand the embroidery pen. The embroidery pen is a tool that automatically feeds to thread through the back and straight back to the front side, making a really clean and consistent stitch. I bought it last week to try, but I have been immensely unsuccessful, and after watching all these YouTube tutorials, I am at my wits end.

I want to be able to use this tool, as I think it will give my work a less amateur aesthetic. So this week, I want to really try to get this to work and see how this different style works speaks differently to the medium.

I am also going to have a photoshoot, as the photographs I were using this week were not intended for this use. I think with the style and context of images, I can alter the meaning of the thread. It was mentioned that there is something superficial about photographs, you can only see so much. I want to work with this idea and tease it out with the thread.


Displaying my work to the class, came with some really valued feedback. It was suggested that I try different aesthetics with the thread, for instance, something not so ‘pretty’, perhaps I could try this by embroidering a messy / angry uterus? It was mentioned that I could alter the photograph itself, potentially tearing it, mixing some together, connecting several photographs together.


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